Friday, January 21, 2005

Roosevelt Franklin: The Muppet With the Same Name as a President

His name was Roosevelt Franklin and he was the coolest kid on Sesame Street. Growing up I worshiped this puppet. He was the ultimate bad boy and he was made out of felt.

I loved Sesame Street as a child, in fact I still do. I think it was the combination of bizarre humor and good natured puppets that attracted me to it then and still does.

This isn’t to say that the show is the same as it was then. Thing have certainly changed, with newer characters like Elmo and Zoe taking center stage along with old favorites like Oscar and Big Bird. And, for every new character that enters, it seems, another character leaves.

Some, leave with good reason. Take Sam the Robot, for example. No one really liked him and (I hear) he was cumbersome and difficult to perform.

Growing up, one of my favorite sketches revolved around a muppet named Don Music. Don would play the piano, but when he forgot the lyrics to the song, he would slam his head against the piano keys.

Don was eliminated when producers worried that kids would follow in his footsteps. Not by playing piano, but by banging their heads against the piano.

I know I did. I would bang my head so hard against the piano that I still have both ebony and ivory marks on my forehead. I also have the words ‘ebony’ and ‘ivory’ tattooed on my right and left ankles. But that is due more to my fanatical obsession with Stevie Wonder.

Roosevelt Franklin, too, did not last on Sesame Street.

You may remember Roosevelt. He was purple and had spiky hair and no nose. This meant he couldn’t wear sunglasses, but no matter, he was so cool he didn’t need shades.

Roosevelt’s skits took place in the classroom. Roosevelt would throw paper airplanes, make sarcastic comments and generally be a nuisance to the teacher.

And he often spoke in rhyme.

Here is one of his poetic verses:

Same Sound Brown was a rhymin' man
He could rhyme words faster than I bet you can
See if you said "moose,"
Brown would say "juice."
If you say ‘Moose juice,’:
He’d say ‘Loose Goose.
If you said ‘Juicy Loose Goose,’
Brown would say "Moosey Goose Juice.

Mmmmm. That made me hungry.
Roosevelt even put out a record called “My Name Is Roosevelt Franklin.” It featured such tracks as ‘Mobity Mosely’s Months’ and ‘Days of the Week” where Roosevelt tells us what he does on each day of the week.
In case you are interested he ‘eats eggs’ and ‘puts socks on his legs.’

According to Sesame Unpaved, a book about the history of the show, Roosevelt was abandoned because some felt he was a negative black American stereotype despite the fact that he was purple.

Also, they said that his behavior in the classroom segments set a bad example to the viewers.

Too bad, because there is a definite lack of Moosey Goose Juice on TV today.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous1/21/2005

    I love Roosevelt, I ripped off my whole act from him.

    BOOYAH! 

    Posted by Sucker Mc

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1/21/2005

    Hmmmm, he was before my time. Isn't he before your time, too? 

    Posted by Jenni21

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  3. Anonymous1/21/2005

    Interesting article. Probably the best 1-2 punch (with yesterday) on the site ever! 

    Posted by Dr Candy Santa Esq. and sons

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous1/21/2005

    I like the Moosey Goose Juice, but when ever the Eagles lose I drink too much and then run people down with my car.
    HINT: Stay off the roads this weekend! 

    Posted by Philly Phrank

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous1/21/2005

    I know all about this guy. For years I made my living as a Presidential impersonator, because I look like FDR. I would do mall openings, Bar Mitvahs, bingo nights-whatever!

    Then, one day this muppet showed up on TV. After that all of my clients started cancelling claiming that I was a "a negative black American stereotype" despite the fact that I too am purple.

    or maybe they just didn't want me because I have a terrible skin disease that has turned my flesh purple.

    But, I's rather blame it on the muppet. 

    Posted by A Guy Who Looks Like Franklin D. Roosevelt

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous1/21/2005

    Sweetie,
    I have been wondering, are all the silly posts written by you?
    Just wondering, they are pretty funny. 

    Posted by Miss Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous1/21/2005

    Dear Sarah,
    I only write your silly comments. Oh lord, I started talking to myself! 

    Posted by Sweetie Guy Hutchinson

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous1/21/2005

    lol 

    Posted by Miss Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous1/22/2005

    Sweetie, you are officially bizarre. But thats OK, I like bizarre. 

    Posted by Nettie

    ReplyDelete